About the Company
e.l.f. Cosmetics provides beauty fanatics with the ideal high-low mix: advanced products at low price tags. Using cutting-edge technology, the Oakland-based company creates innovative makeup for the eyes, lips, and face (hence the name) and has become one of the fastest-growing cosmetics companies in the U.S. since its launch in 2004. Encouraging women to “play beautifully,” the trailblazing brand continually delights its devoted fan base with quality cosmetics at an extraordinary value.
Founders Joey and Alan Shamah were seeking a minority partner to help them continue to grow and develop the brand. We were attracted to the company because it was incredibly innovative with respect to product development, speed to market, and digital marketing. They had also earned strong loyalty among their core consumers, which was demonstrated through their successful eCommerce business and strong social media following.
We presented them with consumer research focused primarily on branding, pricing, and product innovation opportunities. Joey and Alan chose to partner with us based on our beauty experience and ability to provide an active, value-added partnership.
While we were a minority investor, we were actively involved as partners and board members. We worked with the e.l.f. team on channel strategy, product development, pricing strategy, marketing, and organizational development. One of the most important initiatives was the work we did with the company to acquire their sourcing agent in China, a key competitive advantage.
Over the course of our investment, EBITDA more than tripled, driven by distribution expansion, continued growth of eCommerce, product extension, and strategic price increases. We remain quite proud of the collaborative relationship we developed with the founders to execute these highly successful growth initiatives.
In February 2014, e.l.f. Cosmetics was sold to TPG Growth, which saw an opportunity to continue to build the business and eventually take it public. Today, e.l.f. is a highly successful public company and considered one of the most innovative brands in mass cosmetics.